Jurgen Klopp has admitted he still hopes to make at least one more signing before the season begins, with defensive cover a priority.
The Reds boss has brought in seven new players already this summer but injuries to Alberto Moreno, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Lucas and Mamadou Sakho – who was also sent home from the US tour amid questions over his attitude – mean Klopp is worried his options are too limited.
Summer signing Matip, who has had a foot problem, did not play at all on the American tour but could be fit for the start of the season against Arsenal on August 14, while Sakho is expected back by the end of the month at the latest.
Lucas, who can fill in at centre-back, is only nursing a minor injury but is also being heavily linked with a move away to Besiktas, and Gomez is close to completing his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury suffered in October.
Moreno was the latest defender to sustain an injury in Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Roma, although it was only described as a dead leg by Klopp afterwards. The Reds boss is, however, concerned he needs more cover across his back-line, with the left side a particular concern as Moreno is the only senior recognised left-back following Brad Smith’s move to Bournemouth.
Cologne’s Jonas Hector, PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell have all been linked but no bids have been made for the first two yet, while the latter has recently signed a new, long-term deal with the Premier League champions.
“Is the activity all over? I have no idea,” Klopp said. “I don’t think so. We will see what happens.
“(Joe) Gomez, (Mamadou) Sakho and Lucas are all injured so of course we haven’t got enough centre-backs at the moment. But we have to handle situations.
“There have been too many games with not enough centre-backs. We can’t sign someone just for a few weeks. In other positions we do have cover.”